Stealth Camping In London/Questions!!!

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  • Hi everyone,


    this is my first post and i'd like to supplicate any experienced London van dwellers/users for some help. Im very new to this idea, and have never owned any vehicle in London, so please be patient..


    So i'm planning on converting a luton van (either an Iveco Daily or a Ford Transit) into an off grid home on wheels with the aim to stealth camp and work in London. The more research I do, the trickier things seem to get, but i'm certain that theres a way to make it sustainable, or i'll have have fun trying at least.


    The first thing I'm trying to get my head around is insuring the van.


    Im planning to make the van as discreet as possible to - any exterior modifications needed can go on the roof, out of sight. Obviously, doing this will mean I can't insure it as a motorhome. I'd like to know what are the possible complications/ramifications of insuring the van under my Dads address in Southampton and living in it in London (obviously at least 5 times less £££). Alternatively, if I do choose to fulfil the requirements needed to register the converted van as a motorhome and submit that i'll be living in the van full time, how do they calculate the insurance, and will it be comparable to the amount I would pay anyway?


    The second thing I was pondering was if i'm parking on residential roads/parking lots (especially if its a narrow residential road) overnight and the van is too wide for the space, could I get fined?


    Also, when parking on a residential road outside the enforced paid hours, does the 'maximum stay' duration still count?


    For example, if I find a parking space on a street that has a maximum stay of 2 hours, but its free after 6:30pm, would I legally be able to stay there all night, or will I have to move on after 2 hours? (I've just read that back and think its a stupid question that I already know the answer to, but i'll leave it in for a laugh).


    Any advice, thoughts, experiences or jokes would be gratefully received.


    Cheers,
    Rich.

  • We have been full timing in a fiat ducato LWB for a year now, staying in many cities including London. We have kept our van as a stealth van and not had the log book changed over.


    Insurance, try Adrian flux


    The width of a Luton shouldn't be a problem, I allways of the opinion that it is your tyres that have to be in the parking space, not the whole vehicle, but I may be wrong.


    Why go for a Luton, a smaller vehicle will be easier to find spaces for and cheaper to run, we are averaging 37mpg, but never drive over 50mph. Having said this I am dreaming of a Bedford TK for our next build...


    Don't be put off by the 'problems' it will all work out in the end and has got to be a better / cheaper way of livin than in a house!

    Follow our blog as we travel across Europe in our self-build motorhome at WildVan.com

  • Have just googled it - the whole vehicle needs to be in the bay, not just the wheels!

    Follow our blog as we travel across Europe in our self-build motorhome at WildVan.com

  • The issue of parking bays is quite interesting, and it's one of the reasons I consider continuing with the Scudo. I read the small print on many of the car park conditions, and they often say that a van and a trailer is able to occupy two spaces, but has to buy two tickets. This must mean that free parking is permitted when the ticket requirement is out of hours.

  • I think it is one of those gray areas, they could fine you in theory, but out of hours when it is free anyway no one will be around to bother to inspect the parking.


    Probably 99.5% of the time you will get away with it if you do not take the piss.


    Trouble is in London, parking a Luton is twice as hard as parking a transit van sized van, so you will have to look longer and go further to find a spot. The rule of thumb for urban areas is to buy a small a vehicle as you can that will do the job, not as big as you can afford.


    Urban stealth in densely populated residential areas I would stay with a panel van, my LWB hitop Relay is awesome for this as it will fit tidily in a single bay and looked like any other white workers van, yet still has decent livable space inside.


    But as VW said, trading estates/ industrial areas are your friend.

  • My stealth vanning is in a completely different style. I deliberately sleep in residential streets, slip in after 9pm and be gone in the morning. Hide in a row of parked cars and you don't stand out. No lights or music.


    Next night do the same but always in a different street. Busy anonomous streets where people don't know the neighbours are best Keep moving, but I only overnight, if I park up during the day its never in the place where I sleep


    Deserted industrial areas and car parks are too isolated and remote for me. Scary at night, too many nutcases roaming around


    The only time I park in a car park is Fort William near the station where there are pay and display overnight car parks

  • [QUOTE=Bernie;1508481


    Deserted industrial areas and car parks are too isolated and remote for me. Scary at night, too many nutcases roaming around


    [/QUOTE]


    Statitistically, there are more likeley to be nutcases in a populated area.... i have never had ANY problems in remote places but have had run ins with pissheads/rowdy teenagers/dog walkers and car park nazis in residential areas.

  • wife used to be a council car park attendant so we've heard all the excuses! generally speaking when you go to a new car park READ THE BOARD, different rules might apply, especially if you have a blue badge. if you occupy 2 spaces you need to buy 2 tickets-logical really. the times when you have to pay will be written on the board, outside of those hours you don't need to pay. park within the lines marked out, park outside them or in the middle of 2 bays and you will get a ticket. don't buy a ticket or overstay your time and you'll get a fine.

  • if I was stealth camping or camper-ing, and I have done it in the past, I would be out in the country side not in some city or town car park. that's asking for trouble.

  • The suburbs are the worst. If you drive up a street and see no vans, not even a car derived one, you WILL stand out. No part of stealth involves standing out.
    Also, you have to go a long way out to find an unrestricted street with easily available spaces.

  • The suburbs are the worst. If you drive up a street and see no vans, not even a car derived one, you WILL stand out. No part of stealth involves standing out.
    Also, you have to go a long way out to find an unrestricted street with easily available spaces.


    oh well, I suppose that is one of the things one has to put up with to live in London, I prefer the british countryside.

  • The suburbs are the worst. If you drive up a street and see no vans, not even a car derived one, you WILL stand out. No part of stealth involves standing out.
    Also, you have to go a long way out to find an unrestricted street with easily available spaces.


    Auntie, lots of the parking restrictions are 9-5 or whatever so you can slip in after that. My belief is you stand out if you stay too long, that's how you start getting noticed. One night and gone in the morning before the parking kicks in, next night another street till you have about thirty to rotate.


    You have to keep moving, you can't settle anywhere but that doesn't bother me. When I'm out in the van I'm moving around anyway.

  • Good point about keeping moving.
    My point though is any restricted streets will be busy. Restrictions usually end when people get back from work. That's when it gets REALLY busy. Many restrictions go on after six. Also, it's best to avoid areas near hospitals and stations.